The month of December calls for a roaring fire, thick scarves, a good book and mulled cider. To make mulled cider you’ll need 2 quarts of apple cider - preferably fresh, 4 strips of lemon zest, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 whole star anise, 1 teaspoon of whole allspice berries, and 1 of teaspoon whole cloves. In a large saucepan, bring cider, lemon zest, and spices to a boil. Cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for a minimum of 20 minutes, but if you want stronger flavors and a heartier cider, let steep for up to 4 hours. Ladle carefully into mugs, leaving most of the solids behind. Garnish with a couple of cinnamon sticks and you're done! This recipe serves 8 and takes a total of 25 minutes – quick, easy and delightful. If you want to add an extra, adult kick, add a shot of rum or brandy at the end. It’s a seasonal gem!